In a column titled "Atheism and Child Murder," Dinesh D'Souza comments on his recent debate with Princeton ethicist and atheist Peter Singer:
Some of Singer's critics call him a Nazi and compare his proposals to Hitler's schemes for eliminating the unwanted, the unfit and the disabled. But as I note in the debate, Singer is no Hitler. He doesn't want state-sponsored killings. Rather, he wants the decision to kill to be made by you and me. Instead of government-conducted genocide, Singer favors free-market homicide.Singer as an individual may or may not approve "state-sponsored killings," but his worldview nevertheless demands obedience. This is what worldviews qua worldviews do as presumed guides to living in the real world.
What counts here, in Singer's case, are not the desires of a particular professor, but rather the imperative mobilized by atheistic presuppositions that give rise to a materialistic and inhumane philosophy of life.
People desire many things, but the actual direction of their lives and of their cultures is set in many ways by directives consistent with their philosophy of life, their worldview.
A denial of the dignity of Man and the sacredness of the individual pushes people downstream into currents of inhumanity that allow no adequate ethical opposition to radical dehumanization, up to and including concentration camps and abortion chambers.
Even "nice" people, regular folk, can be caught up in this dynamic if they allow others to do their thinking and evaluating for them.
You can be a materialist even if you're a hippie and have only one quarter in your pocket (as Francis Schaeffer observed on occasion). In similar fashion, you can be a fascist and have only one baby, one person, one slave, one Jew in your power, your pocket, at your mercy, in your womb, subject to your autonomous choice.
State machinery may or may not be involved in Singer's current thinking or at a particular moment in history. But this doesn't get us out of the woods.
For if the naked secular state is the de facto ultimate political power (because God does not exist, and the impersonal cosmos is indifferent), then even the putatively "empowered" individual really functions more as something akin to an NGE (nongovernmental entity), enacting that which the state allows and the Darwinian struggle for existence compels, excuses, and forgives.
This is a delegated fascism -- from the secular state to the secularized individual and his or her own personal will-to-power. "Freedom" and "empowerment" become PR symbols to help grown-ups feel better about imposing their values on pre- and post-natal children. This scheme works best if the grown-ups remain unaware of their subservience to the state establishment.
It is important to not be confused or distracted by the struggle between the fascism of the one (naked, personal choice and the individual will-to-power) and the fascism of the many (naked, political choice and the raw communal will-to-power).
One need not reduce Singer to Hitler to recognize Naziesque applications that emerge naturally and logically from an inhumane, Singeresque worldview. We are condemned to repeat the past if we ignore its dangerous presuppositions.
* Dawkins: Nazi Eugenics "May Not Be Bad"?, by Rick Pearcey
* Fascism Is Back, by Rick Pearcey
Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report (articles).